April 27, 2018
The Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo graced the 53rd Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) of the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) last April 21, 2018 at the PBS Ministry Building. She shared her personal faith journey and encouraged everyone to continue to hope and strive even in the face of adversity.
“I experienced many crossroads in life and my faith has been tested through time,” Vice President Robredo said as she spoke about her journey from being an aspiring lawyer to holding the second highest government position in the country. She also shared about her husband’s death and how she learned to strive in the midst of uncertainties, believing that God has a reason for everything. “The most beautiful manifestation of faith is how you live your life everyday. Don’t be weighed down by things that are not under your control. Discern the purpose of the struggle,” she said.
This message was echoed by PBS President and Chairman Bishop Noel Pantoja, saying in his report, “Amidst changing and difficult times, this truth will remain: hope is found in nowhere else but in the Word of God.” He was re-elected during the 53rd AMM to lead the PBS Board of Trustees for another year. He expressed his gratefulness for all the Lord’s blessings to the Bible Society and how the past year has been a testament of God’s persevering grace in the midst of challenges.
President and Chairman - Bishop Noel Pantoja, National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches;
Vice-President and Vice-Chairman - Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Manila;
Corporate Secretary - Justice Raoul Victorino (Ret.), Chairperson of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines;
Member-at-Large - Mr. Lawrence Ty, Chairman of the United Evangelical Church of Manila and the Good News Christian Academy of Ifugao;
Member-at-Large - Ms. Lissa Belle Brown, Vice-Chairperson-Youth of the National Council of Churchesin the Philippines;
Mr. Albert Tanlimco, President of AMTES Corporation;
Mr. Augusto Arguelles, President of the Institute for Pastoral Development;
Bishop Cesar Vicente Punzalan III, Presiding Bishop of Hope Christian Fellowship Churches in the Philippines;
Mrs. Feraz Legita, President of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches;
Mrs. Florencia Tarriela, Chairman of the Philippine National Bank;
Rev. Dr. Gloria Lita Mapangdol, Dean of St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary;
Atty. Jose Villanueva, Chairman and Founder of the Shekinah Christian Unity Foundation;
The Right Rev. Joselito Cruz, General Secretary of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente;
Mr. Karlo Lara, GFounder and Program Director of the Lakbay Biblia Catholic Bible Course;
Dr. Natividad Pagadut, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines;
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D., Bishop of Kalookan;
Elder Rufino Dela Rosa, Chairman of the Board of Elders of Plaridel Bible Church;
Dr. Timoteo Gener, President of the Asian Theological Seminary
Most Rev. Arturo Bastes, S.V.D., D.D.
Bishop Daniel Arichea Jr., PhD
Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Nathanael Lazaro
Chief Justice Reynato Puno (Ret.)
Another highlight of the meeting was the update on the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign presented by Most Rev. Pabillo. He joyfully reported that the program has already distributed a total of 3,113,013 Bibles since it started in 2008. As the next phase of this campaign, the MTBO+ (read as MTBO Plus) Bible Campaign was launched to provide deeper Scripture engagement for specific Filipino audiences. This enhanced program will help the faithfuls grow in their spiritual journey in the most effective way according to their needs.
A new Scripture offering was also unveiled during the gathering – the Filipino Standard Version Ang Bagong Tipan kasama ang Mga Awit at Mga Kawikaan. This welcome addition to the wide array of PBS Scripture materials came in response to the need of churches to have a Filipino Bible apt for liturgy reading. The inclusion of Psalms and Proverbs make this version more helpful especially that these books are often read for prayer and worship.
With all these exciting developments, PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero likewise expressed her awe of how the Lord remained faithful and true. In her report, she presented the progress in the Bible Society’s strategic directions – Scripture Engagement and Advocacy, Distribution, Translation, Publishing, and Mission Sustainability – and underscored the overflowing grace and provision to PBS in 2017. She also highlighted the ongoing construction of the new 14-storey PBS ministry facility which has already completed its foundation work to anchor the superstructure of the building.
“Our love for God’s Word intensified even more because of the lasting hope it provides for all, resulting in many lives changed. He has given us plenty of good work to do through His overflowing grace and I thank the PBS leadership, staff, members, benefactors, and friends for their prayers and strong support. We give praise and honor to God alone whose love and grace toward us is vast, unmeasured, boundless, and free,” Dr. Lucero said.